Fast Company’s Website Traffic Hits Zero Due to Amazon Outage

It seems that a number of high-profile websites were affected by the most recent Amazon cloud server outage – one of five outages experienced by the company in the past year and a half. The Fast Company website was also taken down as one of the Amazon data centers suffered a 12-hour outage. As we mentioned earlier this week, Amazon was being quite vague regarding the reason for the outage. Recently they hinted as to the cause of the problems, stating “We are seeing elevated errors rates on APIs related to describing and associating EIP [Elastic IP] addresses.”

While some of the sites affected weren’t taken down completely, others, such as Fast Company, experienced a complete outage of their site. The CTO of Fast Company was kind enough to share what the Amazon outage did to their website traffic via a graph. The traffic graph shows Fast Company’s traffic going from a steady rate of visitors to a sudden zero. This graph represents the type of traffic pattern that no business owner wants to see.

Lost Traffic = Lost Revenue

In the world of online business, traffic is everything. Traffic equates to profits and if your site isn’t up to receive incoming traffic, you’re business is losing money. The question is, can you do anything to prevent such outages from occurring?

Working to Prevent Total Website Outages

Fast Company’s IT professionals weren’t to blame for the Amazon outage so they couldn’t be held responsible for the site’s lost traffic. What the company can learn from this experience, however, is that it’s never a good idea to deploy your cloud across one zone. While some website downtime is unavoidable, outages like the one experienced by Amazon cloud subscribers this week could have been prevented if the sites using the services took measures to ensure that their cloud deployment was managed across multiple regions.

If your site is hosted using cloud servers and you set your hosting up so that your hosting services are deployed across multiple regions or zones, you can ensure that your whole site doesn’t go down if one of the hosting provider’s data centers is affected.

Communicating with Your Customers

Another thing you must remember is that if your site does go down due to an issue with your hosting company, you need to communicate the reasons for the outage with your customers. Fast Company stayed on top of communication using social media outlets. As an Alertra customer, you can do the same. When your site goes down we will notify you of the issue. You can then begin researching the problem, notifying your customers of the downtime and keeping them updated as to your progress as you work to get things back up and running. The lack of communication on the part of Amazon has left many customers frustrated. Make sure you don’t follow suit if your site does experience any downtime.